In film editing, The Jump Cut is a hard edit placed within a continuous shot. It is also an edit between two sequences where the camera position changes too slightly to produce a smooth shift in perspective. The result is a jarring experience for the viewer and for this reason it was originally considered an error in film technique. Always one to thumb his nose at convention, Director Jean Luc-Goddard deliberately employed the Jump Cut as a storytelling tool in his 1960 film, ‘Breathless’. Goddard broke the rules of editing and thereby legitimized what was previously regarded as a technical glitch. Had he opted for the more traditional fades to black, dissolves between time frames or cutaways, our experience of the scene would be entirely different. Goddard was notorious for toying with the audience so if you find it irritating it has probably served it’s purpose (or one of them at least)

For further demonstrations of the Jump Cut’s uses checkout:


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